Lasting friendships require effort, interest, grace, patience, consideration and balance (and so much more). Communication is so important. Conversations that bounce back and forth as we balance sharing, inquiring, listening and hearing are the ones that result in true and deeper relationship.
It can be easy to lose balance. In the current culture in which we are constantly supplying the world with notifications,
blogs, tweets, and commentary on our own lives ... we need to remember
that true communication and conversation involves taking the time to go
deeper, ask questions and gauge responses.
Of course there are seasons
where one person is the listening ear for the other. We
should never keep score. We ought to remember, though, to show that we care
enough to engage beyond ourselves. I have become more and more aware of my shortcomings in this area. Though I can be a very sympathetic listener... am I a good listener? Not always. I want to be. I also want others to take interest in knowing me, too. We all want to be heard.
If my friend asks me about my day, am I careful to reciprocate? If we have a long conversation about a situation in my life and run out of time ... do I at least make a point of saying "I want to hear what's going on with you next time"?
Am I listening? Am I drawing my friends out with questions that show I care? I am trying to improve. I want to become more aware and be a better friend.